Scripps Tips- August 2007

A monthly list of story ideas for journalists

Scripps Surgeon Gains Firsthand Insights Into How Military’s Wartime Trauma System May Apply to Disaster Situation in United States
Scripps Health Chief Medical Officer and trauma surgeon A. Brent Eastman, M.D. recently returned from a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, where acutely injured troops are evacuated for care from the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Eastman is the first San Diego surgeon to take part in the American College of Surgeons’ Distinguished Visiting Surgeon in Combat Casualty Program. During his weeklong visit, Dr. Eastman gained insights into how the military’s highly efficient wartime trauma system – based on rapid stabilization in field hospitals and rapid transport to trauma care centers – could potentially be applied in the U.S. in the event of a disaster with mass casualties. At Landstuhl he also assisted with combat-related surgeries, consulted on patient cases and offered his insights into how regional trauma systems like the one he helped develop in San Diego and across the world may apply to a military setting. To arrange an interview with Dr. Eastman about his experiences treating wounded warriors overseas, please contact Steve Carpowich at

The Genomics Gold Rush: Scripps Doctors Published in Journal of American Medical Association
Almost daily a new report is published announcing a new discovery linking DNA markers to many of the most common diseases. In recent weeks three genes linked to multiple sclerosis were discovered and a gene linked to HIV also was announced. These follow exciting discoveries associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and coronary heart disease. The breakneck pace of discovery will continue in the months ahead, with anticipated findings for many types of diseases. In aggregate, these studies have the potential to radically change medicine, but challenges lie ahead. Dr. Eric J. Topol of the Scripps Genomic Medicine Program, and colleagues Kelly A. Frazer, Ph.D., and Sarah S. Murray, Ph.D., recently published a commentary, The Genomics Gold Rush, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) about this rapid pace of medical discovery. Drs. Topol, Frazer and Murray are available to comment on this trend or on future specific genetic discoveries. To schedule an interview, please call Steve Carpowich at

Heart Attack Death Rates Appear Lower At ’America’s Best Hospitals’
Individuals admitted for heart attack to a hospital ranked as one of “America’s Best” by U.S.News & World Report are less likely to die within 30 days than those admitted to a non-ranked hospital, according to a report in the July 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla was the only hospital in San Diego to be ranked among the nation’s best in the “Heart & Heart Surgery” category. This is the third time that the hospital has received this accolade. For more information on this study and to speak with a Scripps cardiologist, please contact Lisa Ohmstede at

Scripps Encinitas Celebrates World Breastfeeding Month in August
The Leichtag Family Birth Pavilion at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, the first World Health Organization (WHO) designated Baby-Friendly Hospital in San Diego since 2004, celebrates World Breastfeeding Month in August. Rather than providing baby formula to new mothers, the Baby-Friendly program promotes successful breastfeeding by offering educational classes and one-on-one support. Studies have shown that breastfeeding provides health benefits for both the mother and the baby. Breastfed babies are found to have less diarrhea, fewer respiratory infections and fewer allergies than formula-fed babies. Breastfeeding is also beneficial to the mother, as women who breastfeed show lower incidences of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis. For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Nichole Warren at

Scripps Whittier Study Indicates One-Third of Diabetics Have Sleep Apnea
Recent study findings published in the current issue of Endocrine Practice suggests that people with type 2 diabetes who drag themselves through the day may be among the 36 percent of diabetics suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition. The study – conducted at The Whittier Institute for Diabetes (a subsidiary of Scripps Health) under the supervision of principal investigator Daniel Einhorn, M.D. – is the first of its kind to analyze data from both men and women at a diabetes clinic. To set up an interview with Dr. Einhorn, please contact Lisa Ohmstede at

Camp Scripps Promotes Health Careers to Youth
Camp Scripps exposes young people to potential health careers and aims to attract more Latino, Asian and African-Americans to health professions. Camp activities include hands-on presentations given by health professionals, a tour of a medical clinics and fire stations and other health-related games and activities. Participants receive a certificate of completion on their last day. The camp offers two three-day sessions, beginning Monday, Aug. 6 and ending Friday, Aug. 17. Camp Scripps is a part of the Healthy Youth Healthy Futures (HYHF) program, a school-to-health-career program offered through Scripps Mercy Hospital San Diego and San Diego Border Area Health Education Center. For more information about Camp Scripps or to cover the program, please contact Jaime Szefc at

Meet the Doc Series – ‘How to Talk to Your Child’s Doctor’
Scripps Mercy Chula Vista offers free community lecture Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2007, 8:30 – 10a.m.
Your child’s doctor can be an incredible resource when you have questions and concerns about your child’s health. The family medicine residency program at Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista will discuss the best ways to communicate your concerns and questions to your child’s doctor, helping to strengthen the parent-doctor relationship and to make the most of your visit. The presentation is located at Scripps Mercy Well Being Center, 311 Del Mar Ave., Chula Vista, CA 91910. For more information or to cover this event, please contact Jaime Szefc at